Archive for the 'Pentecost' Category

Pentecost Sunday 2016 – John 14:11

Thursday, May 12, 2016

John 14:11Jesus said to Philip, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.”

‘Actions speak louder than words,’ is an expression most of us have heard for years.  Throughout scripture we are reminded that our faith should change us in ways noticeable to others.

Loving God, may our actions toward others serve as beacons that draw others to you.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2016 – Psalm 104:24

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Psalm 104:24O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Yesterday started out as a dreary day in Memphis with clouds blocking out any good view of the sky.  But it seemed that in less than an hour around lunch, the clouds broke, and God’s blue sky and warm sun transformed the day into glorious.

Creator God, thank you for the creative imprint you have left and continue to leave on this Earth.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2016 – Genesis 11:7-8

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Genesis 11:7-8And the LORD said, “Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”  So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.

In the Bible, this story comes after the flood so these are all Noah’s descendants.  They were comfortable remaining together so God had to give them a push to resettle the post-flood world.  That push was confusing their language.

Almighty God, give us the courage to challenge the boundaries of our comfort zones as we seek to do your will.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2016 – Genesis 11:1, 4

Monday, May 9, 2016

As we approach Pentecost Sunday, we will consider the Tower of Babel and read about the Holy Spirit entering those first believers as tongues of fire.  Our lectionary selections include:  Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21 and John 14:8-17, (25-27).

Genesis 11:1, 4Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.  Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

It is comfortable to be around people like us – who speak like us, who sound like us, who worship like us.  But all of us are unique  reflections of the same God.  This week we are challenged to embrace diversity as a part of God’s plan.

God of all of us, help us to be more tolerant of one another.  Help us to see your face in each person we meet today.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2015 – Acts 2:5-8

Friday, May 22, 2015

Acts 2:5-8Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.  And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.  Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?

As I read this favorite selection from the Pentecost story in Acts, I can’t help but think how we are all Memphians or Tennesseans or (fill in the blank).  That said, truly understanding one another takes special listening skills.

Gracious and forgiving God, equip us to hear our brothers and sisters in ways that help us to recognize the needs of one another.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2015 – 104:24, 35b

Thursday, May 21, 2015

104:24, 35bO LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures…Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!

I love this time of year.  Blooms pop up overnight, and as they wither, there are new blooms to admire on different plants.  Some birds are starting to think about nests, and soon there will be chirps of little birds and squawks of protective parents.  Thanks be to God!

Awesome God, help us to appreciate the nuances and intricate handiwork of your creation.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2015 – Ezekiel 37:9-10

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ezekiel 37:9-10Then the LORD said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”  I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Today, our passage reminds us that every breath comes from God.  As you are able, take a deep breath as though you are filling your chest with the Holy Spirit.  As you exhale, thank God for this extraordinary gift.

Creator God, thank you for brisk winds that mess up our hair and clean, crisp air that gives us life.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2015 –

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ezekiel 37:3-4The LORD said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”  Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

As I read this very familiar pair of verses, I couldn’t help but think of the charge God leaves with us:  ‘Be prepared to minister wherever I lead you.’

Omnipresent God, help us to deliver your message through word and deed wherever we are.  Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2015 – Ezekiel 37:1-2

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pentecost is here!  The birthday of the Christian church will be celebrated in many churches this Sunday.  For our preparation for Pentecost we are offered the following passages from the lectionary: Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21 and John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15.

Ezekiel 37:1-2The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.  He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.

“Dem Dry Bones” was one of the first songs I remember learning as a child.  Yet while I smile thinking of that fun song, today’s passage can also remind us that God remains with us even when we might feel most alone.

Almighty God, thank you for your never-ending presence even when we are feeling alone during desolate times in our lives.  Amen.

A Pentecost Picture for 2015

Flames on Pentecost

Flames on Pentecost


Pentecost Sunday 2014 – Psalm 104:24, 33-34, 35b

Friday, June 6, 2014

Psalm 104:24, 33-34, 35bO LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!

I thought this a wonderful prayer with which to end our week. The passages in Acts and 1 Corinthians drive home how precious we are to God’s kingdom. God’s Spirit has touched each of us in a special and amazing way. A primary duty is to share the resulting gifts we have with others.

Mighty but gentle God, thank you for your steadfast presence in our lives. Help us discern our gifts so that we can share them with others. Amen.

Pentecost Sunday 2014 – 1 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

1 Corinthians 12:9…to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit…

I had never thought of faith as a gift, but one commentary I consulted spoke of this faith as “exceptionally strong” faith. Then I remembered some of you who are walking testaments to your deep and abiding faith in God and how your strength of faith has helped deepen my faith over the years. We can help build God’s kingdom by simply sharing our faith with others.

God of all of us, thank you for those people among us whose faith is exceptionally strong. May they continue to influence us in our daily walk with you. Amen.

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